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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Questions to avoid asking at end of job interivew

Most of these I already know for the most part and in some cases I broke some of these rules. I have asked a couple of managers how much is the pay. Certainly asking such a questions before getting the job is in bad taste.

Certainly however, many of these questions are unreal. It's within the realm of possibility that may of these questions are asked by a lot of job seekers. Hopefully they see this list and recognize that this may be a reason they failed to get the position.

Via Newsalert!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Why does this guy stay in New Jersey?

[VIDEO] I decided to look up the various aspects of the Free State Project which is largely based in New Hampshire. The video you see above courtesy of is one of those many elements of the "free staters" who have taken up residence in the "live free or die" state.

FSP basically seeks a political migration to a state such as New Hampshire to create this libertarian society. It's been a number of years since I followed the New Hampshire free staters with their many videos to share their attempts at creating a libertarian society.

One thing I wanted to address here is the comments at the start of this video with Patrick McKnight who did a road trip from New Jersey to visit with his fellow Libertarians in New Hampshire. He's the northeastern representative for the Libertarian National Committee and he pays a visit to the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire to give a quick speech.

Now it was noted at the speech how the mc who introduced McKnight chided him that he should stay up there instead of going back to New Jersey and then McKnight himself finds himself wondering why he stays. He even notes how people leave New Jersey in droves due to big government and taxes.

Certain this matches with some of the reasons why many have left Chicago and Illinois over the years. There isn't much opportunity here, the taxes are going up, and perhaps still there's no desire to limit the expansion of government.

I'm sure there are no shortage of people who at least in Chicago wishes that there was no bag tax - which is to encourage consumers to purchase and bring their own bags to grocery shop. Illinois hasn't created a budget in two years as the powerful politicians of this state haven't been able to come to an agreement on some reforms.

My point in this is that does why have to leave a state to create this ideal society? Perhaps New Jersey is where McKnight for now needs to be. Perhaps Chicago, Illinois is where I need to be for now although I'm not as active as McKnight.

Point is perhaps no matter how dire the situation a state might be whether New Jersey, Illinois or I can throw out there California there is certainly a need for someone out there to call for all the necessary changes. In 2014, Illinois elected for a change in the governor's mansion. A necessary change, but this state hasn't seen much for it unfortunately.

In saying this, I can only wish that this state could get an influx of people who advocate for this idea Libertarian society. Perhaps ask for some substantial changes that one can only hope will benefit this state or better yet benefit Chicago. Do this hopefully before some unfortunate harm to a formerly great state.

In the meanwhile, people will do what you expect when they're not happy with where they are - vote with their feet & leave.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Jerry Krause

The former Chicago Bulls General Manager - Krause's title was actually executive vice president for basketball operations - has gotten a bad rap over the years. He gets credit for helping to build Bulls teams to 6 NBA titles in the 1990s. He definitely however gets a bad rap for breaking up the last Bulls championship team.

It's in the news that he died today at 77. What got me to pay attention to his death. This tweet from the Tribune.
Also the Bulls took to twitter to mark Krause's death

Monday, March 20, 2017

Americans growing less religious

I'm not a very religious man, in spite of the sub-header for the blog. This scripture you see up top was found during a bible study and to be honest I haven't picked up a bible again since. Of course this isn't to say I don't believe in a God at all.

In spite of this I truly believe Americans should be able to practice the religion of their choice. That is one of the many things this country is all about right.

However, I understand via recent column that American's attendance at church is going downward. We're not attending church like we used to. Perhaps the activism of the faithful have turned off so many. Unfortunately another argument could be made here:
It’s important. It’s a confirmation of a line Ross Douthat had a year or so ago, telling the left that if they didn’t like the Religious Right, just wait until the see the Post-Religious Right. I’m getting anecdotal reports from readers and from acquaintances that young people with smartphones are not only streaming pornography, but also getting massive doses of political extremism on their devices. One source who sees the boys in his conservative Christian high school embracing white nationalism speculates that the megachurch Christianity of these high school seniors is not facing the reality of the world around us. If true, then the pastors and other religious authorities in these kids’ lives are simply not forming them as Christians to live in the post-Christian world that we have.
I don't consider myself a fan of the religious right. I accept their right to advocate for issues that are very important to them, however as time has gone on they are on the wrong side of these issues. In some respects I agreed with them, though never entirely lifted a find to forward their agenda. Although it seems there may be some progress on the issue of abortion for example.

As you will see in the piece linked above an increasing secularism is contributing to the ferocity of political battles in this nation. That is religion is seen as black & white, but the same could apply to politics. Various political issues could be seen in black and white.

Issues of civil rights, gay rights, abortion, universal healthcare, even immigration could be seen by either side in terms of black & white. No need to really consider the other side, this is the right thing no matter what and anyone against it is evil.

This may well be an ongoing on issue in years to come!

Via Instapundit!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Friday, March 10, 2017

To pay off $220K in student loans...

I have some significant students loans, but not certain if i want to buy rental property. Key word in this story is being creative:
Back home in Joliet, Illinois, Horton took a job as an operations manager at the nonprofit her mother runs. The salary was comparable to what she made in DC, but the cost of living was drastically less. She increased her student-loan payments, setting the lofty goal of paying them off entirely in a year.

Horton and her boyfriend tied the knot soon after the move. Horton's mother gave the couple a condo that she had purchased at an auction as a wedding gift. It became crucial in wiping away the hefty student-loan tab.

Horton and her husband lived in the condo for three months, but then they decided to move in with her grandparents down the street and started renting out the condo to bring in extra income. 

The income boost made a huge difference — so they doubled down.

Horton's husband had the idea of buying another rental unit to increase their cash flow even more. Though Horton was reluctant at first, she eventually agreed. They ponied up all the cash they could muster for a $42,000 two-unit condo to rent out, allowing Horton to rake in more money to put toward her loans.

The strategy worked so well that the couple ended up purchasing another $55,000 unit shortly thereafter.
All told, Horton said she and her husband were putting 95% of their combined income toward Horton's student loans, making payments of roughly $10,000 a month.

Horton committed fully to her goal and was willing to make sacrifices to reach it. When one of the couple's cars stopped working, Horton walked or biked 4 miles to work, rather than diverted cash toward buying another vehicle.
Must be nice to be free of the student loans.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

When former high school dropouts become CEOs

This article from WBEZ is about students at an alternative school who are learning skills that will be useful on the job market. There's a reason many of them are in alternative school but if they use their newly developed skills to build a great future for themselves I'm all for it. This should be expanded to other schools alternative or otherwise.
The students at Banner Academy in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood are all former dropouts, but they’re also aspiring CEOs.

This alternative Chicago Public Schools program is built around entrepreneurship, allowing students to catch up on credits by developing their own small businesses. The products are even sold at a storefront the school rents in the neighborhood.

This focus on job skills is just what school officials have said they’d like to see in all alternative schools after an internal audit found widespread attendance and performance problems at many of these schools.

The city has had full-day alternative schools for decades, but many of the city’s newest schools for dropouts require students to come only half the school day, and most of the work is done online. This more flexible design was meant to help lure students back.

But many educators don’t agree with this approach. Flavian Prince, the vice president of education at Banner Academy, called it “institutional racism.”

“Nobody else would create these types of schools for any group of people in this country,” Prince said, adding that dropouts, most of them black and Latino, need more than just a half day of school on the computer. “Nobody would want this for their own kids. Yet, it becomes a policy.”
The last two paragraphs likely explains why Banner Academy is choosing their entrepreneurship approach. Here's a story of one of the students why she's at Banner and what she's doing?
Becky Vevea/WBEZ
Bianca Wiggins said she dropped out of Crane Medical Prep High School last year after she stopped going to class.

“I had all F’s,” she said. “It was a struggle because it was a medical school and medical didn’t really interest me. Now, I get all A’s.”

Wiggins said she enrolled last fall with just 11 of the 24 credits she needed to graduate. Now, she said she’s on track to graduate in June.

She started a smoothie company called The Player’s Blend and runs it out of the school cafe during lunch and after school.

She rattled off her flavors and prices next to a poster she designed in the school’s production lab. The business plan and pricing structure was built into the courses she needed to graduate.
You know this lets me know we need to change the model of public education. Of course no system can entirely satisfy everyone, but it's necessary. This Mzuzi store on the west side is one possibly way to get students interested in school. Perhaps more hands-on training when it comes to running a business.

Becky Vevea/WBEZ

BTW, back when attending high school - GO FALCONS! - I was briefly involved with an entrepreneurship club. One problem was that I had little concept of the type of business to run and no tools. My first thought was a computer based business - especially printing or something newsy - but I had no late 90s capable computer at home. And we didn't even have a printer.

Back then I was never certain about my direction and everyone else had their own expectations - especially by some fluke due to my grades it was expected I'd do well in college. If I had followed my own instinct back then instead of just falling into and out of everyone's expectations. Then again back then I just didn't know and wasn't trying to catch up.

I'm very glad these students who have the dropout strike against them will have an opportunity to continue developing themselves skill wise. At least my god-given skill has been writing.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

So what about the HBCU initiative from White House

Last month President Trump visited with the Presidents of the nations historically Black colleges. And then my alma mater's President made his own statement about this meeting that took place at the White House. It appears the outgoing President of Morehouse College was disappointed in what transpired.

Unfortunately this got lost while the mainstream media and social media went after Trump aide Kellyanne Conway because she chose to sit on an oval office couch with her knees. Even incurred something of a lewd joke by the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus which he was later forced to apologize.

I had first found an official statement by Dr. Wilson and while I shared it at Electric Moleskine it was never read. Now I got a time out to give it a read.
Many had high hopes about this meeting.  There was much advance chatter about it being “historic,” and there were many signals from key Trump administration officials that they would surprise HBCUs with favorable treatment.  Given my experience in the Obama administration, I knew this would require an extraordinary announcement.  Why?  Because I knew that President Obama had invested $3 billion more in HBCUs in his first six years than President Bush invested in his final six years.  Therefore, since President Trump pledged to “do more for HBCUs than any other president has done before,” we could have reasonably expected him to get started by announcing at least an additional $500 million to HBCUs…this year!  And beside the expectation of new funding, there was advance talk of changes like an aspirational goal of 5 to 10 percent for federal agency funding to HBCUs, a special HBCU innovation fund, large boosts in Pell Grant and Title III funding, and extra tax breaks for those in the private sector who contribute to HBCUs.  But, instead of the long-awaited executive order containing or signaling any of those outcomes, the key change is a symbolic shift of the White House HBCU Initiative from the Department of Education to the White House.  It is not possible to measure the impact of this gesture anytime soon, if ever.
Well that paragraph was just to share with you what happened late last month. The chairman of the CBC instead of having to comment on Ms. Conway should've instead had something to say about that executive order. Congressman Richmond himself from Louisiana has a few HBCU's in his state if not his congressional district he should know.

Apparently to politicians and the mainstream media the most important store was not parading around HBCU presidents only to sign an executive order to shift an HBCU initiative from the Department of Education to the White House. This seems to be a waste of their time an effort especially with any apparent build up.

BTW, this may not be a bad thing as the Secretary of Education made this gaffe regarding HBCUs:
 It should also be noted that, in her luncheon speech to HBCU presidents yesterday, Education Secretary DeVos struck a discordant note when she said of HBCUs, They started from the fact that there were too many students in America who did not have equal access to education. They saw that the system wasn't working, that there was an absence of opportunity, so they took it upon themselves to provide the solution. HBCUs are real pioneers when it comes to school choice.”
 Uhhhhhhhhh, there wasn't much school choice for the newly freed slaves. Many HBCUs were founded in the 19th century, Morehouse College itself was created after the end of the Civil War. School choice hardly, there was little interest by the prevailing society at the time to education Blacks. Although yes many of this nation's HBCUs were founded by whites.

According to Dr. Wilson this is a troubling beginning. If the President hopes to do more than President Obama or President Bush hopefully more is coming from the White House than this executive order.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Capitol Fax: Emulate President #Trump at your peril

I shared this recent column by Rich Miller over at Electric Moleskine this morning. It's worth expanding on here and of course Miller looks at the Illinois angle to this:
Earlier this month, an unopposed candidate for an Arlington Heights village board spot named Joe Favia had to drop out of his race after posting something truly stupid about women on Facebook. After the national women’s marches in January, he posted a meme which read “In one day, Trump got more fat women out walking than Michelle Obama did in 8 years.”

Again, he was an unopposed candidate. You don’t usually get a more sure thing in politics than an unopposed campaign. Not for that dude. He gone.

Danville Township Assessor Rick Rohrer, a Democrat, posted the very same meme to his Facebook page, and the chairwoman and treasurer of the Vermillion County Democratic Party were so furious that they both resigned in disgust.

Just last week, the sports anchor for the most-watched television station in Chicagoland, Mark Giangreco, was slapped with a weeks-long suspension for tweeting something stupid about the president and his supporters: “America exposed as a country full of simpletons who allowed this cartoon lunatic to be ‘elected.’ “ ... So, when probable Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker woke up early one morning last week and, according to an aide, decided to mock the far right’s incendiary rhetoric by tweeting, “As a protest against Trump’s rescinding protections for trans kids, everyone should use the other gender’s bathroom today! #protecttranskids,” he should’ve first taken a deep breath, had another cup of coffee, maybe called a friend or two and then realized he was about to make himself look like just another billionaire who can’t control himself on Twitter. Please leave the jokes to the professionals (who, by the way, are regularly put through the public meat grinder for their misfired attempts at humor).
Either way Donald Trump changed the rules of the game for himself. As of now only he could get away with a sexually charged hot mike conversation from over a decade ago. Only he can get away with making his own crazy statements especially some of what many of us have seen on Twitter.

If you're nowhere in Trump's league try your own style and don't attempt to be as outrageous as the President has been during the campaign and during his administration. It's certain to backfire.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Bradley Sisters

I hadn't thought about this sad case in years. There have been a number of updates but to this day we have no idea what happened so them since July 6, 2001. Do a quick google search and you see there have been updates but no progress.

Why am I thinking of those two little girls who would acutally be in their 20s if they are still around somewhere. Well on twitter a story about the private investigator looking for them pro-bono for their family.

Now I'm sorry that he never found those girls. Hopefully the family of these girls will find out what happened to them almost 16 years ago.